Helicon's Poly Foam System is an exceptional solution for seawall repairs
Seawall Repair in Florida
We love how the long coastline of southwest Florida offers homeowners beautiful, soothing vistas right at the water’s edge, in locations including Tampa, Naples, St. Petersburg, and Ft. Myers, FL. Preserving these waterside properties from ongoing sea erosion or stormy weather often depends on a sound, protective seawall.
In our business, we come across a variety of seawall materials, the most common being reinforced concrete because of its longevity. We know firsthand, however, that even concrete is not invincible against the forces of nature. These walls require regular vigilance to detect common signs of wear such as cracks, cap failure or berm loss. If left unchecked, these and other problems will lead to costly wall failures in the future.
How Seawalls Fail
As waves and tides encounter a seawall, it is subject to cyclic pressures and the possibility of water and soil flow through joints, holes, cracks or other defects that gradually reduce the wall’s and backing soils’ structural integrity. Florida’s heavy rains and storms only exacerbate any such defects. A variety of symptoms, including seawall leaning, cap or wall cracks, bulging or sinkholes may be present.
Naturally, if such signs of deterioration exist, we suggest that you deal with them as early as possible to avoid the extreme expense, environmental damage and inconvenience of total or partial seawall replacement.
Comparing Seawall Repair Options
Fortunately, there are several economical approaches to seawall repair. One of the most cost-effective methods employs the use of polyurethane foam (poly foam) grout, which evades several disadvantages of using the outdated technique of cement grouting:
- Cement grouting requires a significant amount of machinery and labor, which has the side effect of creating a bigger mess on your property.
- Cement grout can increase the weight of the wall structure, which risks the wall sinking.
- Shrinking and degrading is also a problem specifically related to cement grouting.
Using an advanced polyurethane resin, on the other hand, has none of the flaws above while providing a more lasting solution to remedying seawall cracks, seawall leaning, and soil voids:
- We install poly foam chemical grout with a minimum of disturbance to your property caused by excessive equipment or messy materials.
- The process of polyurethane foam repair is far quicker than cement grouting and returns your property to use within hours instead of days or weeks.
- This repair approach is especially apt at quickly eliminating leaks up to thousands of gallons per minute.
- Polyurethane repair is also absolutely environmentally safe.
As you can see, the use of poly foam grouting is a clear winner over cement grouting for both the owner’s property and their pocketbook.
How Poly Foam Concrete Repair Works
Let’s investigate some of the details of poly foam repair so that you can see why we strongly recommend its use for seawall repair as well as for lifting concrete sidewalks or raising concrete structures that have subsided.
Single Component Solution or Two-Component Solution
Our polyurethane resin is ready to go at an instant, which contributes to an efficient installation process. Our single component solution densifies the soils while our two-component solution expands and lifts concrete. Many repairs will have a combination of both solutions utilized in the repair.
Low Viscosity for Excellent Penetration
Poly foam grouting is especially good at penetrating the thinnest cracks and voids due to its exceptionally low viscosity, which is measured with a unit called a centipoise. Our resins are typically in the range of 110 to 150 cps, which is comparable to the viscosity of corn or maple syrup.
Customizable Set Time
Depending on the specific concrete repair job, we can adjust the grout set time using a catalyst. In cases where voids are large or there is leakage, we prefer a rapid set time. Often for concrete leveling, however, a longer set time is desirable so that the grout can further permeate the soil for a lasting repair.
Exceptional for Filling Voids
Our polyurethane foam expands when it comes into contact with soil moisture or water, which furthers its ability to completely fill voids. Once it sets, of course, it is completely impermeable to moisture in part due to the closed-cell structure it forms. This property is also important when using poly-resin for uniformly lifting concrete.
Not only does our foam thoroughly fill voids or permeate sandy soil to solidify it, its adhesive properties guarantee that it permanently bonds with its surroundings, unlike cement grout. It is designed to last a lifetime and beyond.
We care about your environmental safety, which is why we only use phthalate-free polyurethane resins for concrete repair. Unfortunately, some contractors still use grouting resins manufactured outside the U.S. that contain this known ocean pollutant. In fact, our resins are NSF certified for cases where it may contact drinking water.
No Heavy Equipment Needed
With polyjacking there is no reason for a lot of heavy equipment that most people associate with mudjacking. There will not be the same damage to the surrounding landscape. Even during the actual poly foam application, the job site will be cleaner. In addition to the neatness factor, there is the speed. Raising concrete with polyurethane grout enables the property owner to use the walkway, driveway, or other surfaces right away. With mud, there is a lengthy curing time that requires foot and vehicle traffic to stay away.
Perhaps the most exciting difference is the fact that foam is hydrophobic. Wet conditions and nearby water leaks will not impede its repair powers. It does not fall victim to liquid damage. The same is not true for mud. Instead of creating a barrier for the moisture, it attracts it and reacts with the water, which results in subsequent shifts of previously leveled concrete. Because a concrete lift should last for a long time, the foam method wins hands down.
Speaking of leaks, consider that chemical grouting is an expert method for filling wet voids without having to trench through the area. It can waterproof the area, and there is no need to dig holes to reach the problem areas from the exterior.
Further Repair Uses for Poly Foam Grout
Besides being an efficient, clean and durable solution for seawall repair, we prefer poly foam grouting for a number of additional repair and remediation applications.
It is especially useful for a process known as polyjacking used in raising concrete driveways, walkways or a foundation. Polyjacking enables precision lifts to align adjacent slabs or to level a foundation. The solution is permanent and will not settle back afterward.
We also apply our poly grouting techniques to stabilizing soils to prevent soil subsidence or when repairing sinkholes. The grout’s properties are also ideal when contaminated soils require encapsulation to keep them from spreading.
State-of-the-Art, Durable Seawall, and Concrete Repair
For over 15 years, we have applied our advanced processes for correcting seawall leaning, raising concrete, filling voids, concrete leveling, etc. across the Florida southwest coast using the superior technology of poly foam chemical grouting. It has so many advantages over excavation or cement grouting methods, including requiring less time and minimizing impact to the environment and property. It is also proven to provide the most lasting, economical solution in the vast majority of cases.
From Tampa, FL to Miami and all places in between, if you have a seawall, we strongly recommend you keep an eye on it so you can nip in the bud any deterioration of this vital structure as early as possible. Feel free to consult with us if you have any doubts about your seawall’s integrity or any other concrete structures on your beautiful Florida seaside property.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Poly Foam strong enough for a seawall repair?
Poly foam is a robust product that is ideally suited for erosion control and soil densification. It is so tough that it can not only repair failing seawalls, it can assist with the repair of settled buildings, driveways, and even highway slabs. No matter how much wear and weight an area experiences, the poly foam does not give way.
Do you need to use heavy equipment to repair my seawall?
With our poly foam system, there is no reason for a lot of heavy equipment that most people associate with mudjacking. There will not be the same damage to the surrounding landscape. Even during the actual poly foam application, the job site will be cleaner. In addition to the neatness factor, there is the speed. Repairing concrete seawalls with polyurethane grout enables the property owner to enjoy the benefits of a repaired seawall immediately.